Farm Happenings at Against the Grain
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Order by Thursday at 8 pm for Saturday Pick-up

Posted on July 1st, 2020 by Holly Whitesides

Welcome to the Against the Grain Farm Stand where you can pre-order for pick up at either Watauga Country Farmer's Market or at the farm for Saturday, July 4th.  If you're reading this in an email, you'll see the items that we have to offer this week below.  You can simply click on the yellow button "purchase from the farmstand" to reserve a box, make swaps and add extras to the base box that Harvie will put together for you.  If you're reading this in the Harvie platform, navigate over to the "farm stand" to reserve your box.

The ordering period for Saturday pick-up closes at 8pm on Thursday, July 2nd.

If you have any questions about your box or the farm stand process, please reach out to Holly directly by email at or by phone at 828-406-4439.  If you are having any difficulties placing your order or would like to confirm the contents of your box, please reach out to Holly.  Her job on the farm is to help trouble shoot and double check orders for Farm Stand Customers.  It is part of our mission that the food produced on the farm be easily accessible to members of our community.  The Harvie system has proved challenging for many, so please don't feel embarrassed if it's not working well for you.  Holly is here to help as best as she can!

For the next several weeks, we'll be profiling farm apprentices in order of their arrival on the farm in 2020.  It is our intention to introduce to you members of the ATG crew who work so hard to plant, produce and harvest the food that ends up in your box each week.  M Mueller, the farm's mentor and Biodynamic gardener, will be interviewing and writing the profiles, so the following is in his words:
For Melinda Maier, our longest serving volunteer, plants really rock her world. Whether in the greenhouse, the vegetable beds, or across the broad landscape, she is alive to them. Known affectionately as the "Steward of the Greenhouse," she nurses our plants in their journey from seeding, through germination, hardening-off, and to the final trek to the fields where they are transplanted into production.
Hailing from the outskirts of Budapest, Hungary, where the city meets the fields, Melinda graduated with a degree in horticulture from Szent Istvan University, and from there set out to gain "real world" experience as a WWOOFer (willing worker on organic farms) in the EU. A lover of Country and Western Music (think Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Kenny Rogers), Melinda turned her gaze toward the southern Appalachians for more WWOOFing opportunities and found us here, where she seems to be prospering.
Once descending Tater Hill where the crew had been wildcrafting ramps, Melinda looked out at our mountain vistas and felt it strike a chord in her. "The flora here often looks so alien to me," the horticulturalist says, but the people of the region she appreciates for being laid back, friendly and trusting. She is happy to have tasted in Boone her "first decent hamburger," and loves exploring other US foods which she finds intriguing for the high use of sweeteners even in savory dishes. In fact, we all got a good laugh when she contrasted a campfire at the sugar shack (a gathering place for apprentices when they're not working on the farm) with a typical Hungarian campfire. "Here you roast marshmallows and make s'mores," she says, "while at home we roast fatback, onions and bratwurst on sticks."
What Melinda likes most about life on the farm is the ability to do hard work, the view from atop Goat Hill, and a good night's rest. That and conversations with the crew as we all learn more about one another. As for the future, she hopes for a life, if not one of farming right at first, at least one spent "digging into the soil" alongside her beloved plants.
Until next week, much love and happy eating!
Holly, Andy and the ATG Crew